Monday, 16 February 2009

The Snow Clad City of Bridges

London, amongst the most beautiful cities in the world! London, a city that oozes character from every pore! London, a culmination of all that is romantic, poetic and lovable. London, a city that I recently left behind to move to my very own city - Mumbai.

In the last eight weeks, I hardly ever missed London; but today I am nostalgic. I am looking at the photographs of a snow clad London and can sense a sudden twinge at having missed my city in its white splendour. I wish I could share this rare momentous occasion with Londoners – walking on London Bridge or in Regent’s Park, taking a stroll on the snow covered river bank or just ice skating at the open air rink at Canary Wharf. London must be so different this time round!

My thoughts slowly steer towards the view from my office window. I can picture the snow and slit covered street albeit with fewer pedestrians, all covered head to toe in wool or fur. I can see myself, coffee in one hand and clutching my muffler in the other, rushing to enter the office. I wonder if the heater under my desk would keep me, the always freezing tropical specimen, warm through a day that had the entire city freezing to grounding halt?

And what would have the night been like? Would the concierge at the building turn up? Would the local grocery store be open in the evening as I returned from work? Would my friends turn up at home for a cup of masala tea and some pakoras? There is no end to all these and many more ifs in my mind that have kept me occupied for the last so many hours.

To call it a night I heave a reluctant sigh; alas I am not in London. But I promise to be there soon; and if not sooner then at least in the summer, when the sun is shining bright. On a glowing, yellow morning I will visit the park. On the lush green grass, by the swimming ducks; I shall laze, read my book and listen to the band. Once the music stops and the late afternoon crowds start swarming in, I shall go to my little café, have my latte and chat with my grocer. At the end of the perfect day, I will lie down and sleep soundly; thrilled at another opportunity to kiss the city that has made me who I am. I know I will be grateful for that one brief encounter.

Until then I sleep in my bed in Mumbai, knowing that I have returned to the place that is mine and to which I so truly belong. I rest assured in the knowledge that my decision was the right one and this is where I now need to establish myself. I would like to visit London with my dreams realised, so that London can be proud me; just as I am proud of my City of Bridges.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Regaining the Lost Balance

I cannot help but wonder why some people are just so important in our lives. How is it that they leave marks which are hard to erase? Why do they say things which are impossible to ignore? Why is it that their dreams become ours? These people are parents, siblings, friends, betterhalfs and then at some point our own children.

Ever since my return to India I have been absorbing the love of all my relationships. It has suddenly made me feel that the world is a little vase filled with the water of love with flowers of relationships blooming. I love this feeling and am grateful for it.

With these relationships come obligations. Not all of them are imposed; most of these are self impositions as emotions are hard to ignore. Accustomed to skating on the ice of life with freedom, suddenly maintaining the grace with the additional weight to pull is becoming tricky. Even though I use the word weight, I do not imply burden. I am just unable to describe what I have in tow; it is a voluntary baggage that I not only have selected but I need. I am a people’s person and those who are close to me are more important to me than everything else. So when I neglect them for work, I am taken over by guilt.

Calvin and Hobbs waited for an hour and I met them. One has been my lucky charm for years together and the other my absolute best friend in this whole wide world. The two of them together with me, it is happening after 3 years. It is a dream come true and yet not only did I make them wait but was on the phone with work for a long time after we met. While they repeatedly kept saying, “Tanu, its just work, relax,” I know they understand. Still I did not understand my own priorities. This is probably the most important time in both their lives and yet I was preoccupied.

Why are choices in life so difficult? Why is it that with the increase in sophistication and progress of technology, the availability of time for all that truly matters is becoming scarce? Why cannot feelings be just feelings and be felt? I wish I could regain my balance and poise; and glide and sail with all the love, emotions and career progression in tow. Is it too much to ask? If it is then I think I have prioritized, not in action yet but in words already.